Ben Philpott

Senior Reporter, State Politics and Policy

Ben Philpott covers politics and policy for KUT. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and has been named Radio Journalist of the Year by the Houston Press club three times.

Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

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politics
3:36 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Texas Lawmaker Files "Arizona Style" Immigration Bill

State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) filed a bill today that, if adopted, would see Texas implement a similar immigration law to Arizona's.
Image courtesy Debbie Riddle Campaign

Today was the first day to file bills for the 2011 legislative session and State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) slept on the floor outside the Chief Clerk's office for two days to ensure she would be first in line.

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2010 Midterm Elections
9:24 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Republican Party Keeps Building

The crowd at the GOP Watch Party in Creedmor, TX, keeps up with national election results.
Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry was declared a winner around 8:30.  And his opponent Bill White delivered his concession speech around 9.  But Governor Perry is still a no-show in Buda.  The initial plan was for the governor to deliver his victory speech around 10 p.m. after a parade of other GOP winners had their turn in the spotlight.  And no one seems to think there's any reason to change the plan.

2010 Midterm Elections
7:44 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Gov. Perry's Book on Sale Tonight

Governor Rick Perry's Book on Sale at GOP Election Party
KUT News

Governor Perry's book, "Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington," has it's own place of honor among the party goers at tonight's state GOP party.  

The book doesn't come out until November 15th but it's one sale tonight for those wanting to get a jump on everyone.

Governor Perry is set to head out on a book tour after the election.

2010 midterm elections
7:07 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Perry Camp Getting Ready

Texas Republicans Get Ready for a Big Night
Ben Philpott

As the National Republicans continue to watch for a national tsunami (an overused descriptor, I'll limit its use tonight.),  Texas Republicans are ready for a pretty rockin' party as well out at the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch near Creedmoor.  

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2010 midterm elections
4:45 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Activists Diss Voting Machines, Call For Paper Ballots

eSlate voting machines are used throughout Texas, but one group would like to revert to hand-counted, paper ballots.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Vote Rescue is a non-partisan group urging Travis County to eschew eSlate voting machines in favor of old fashioned, hand-counted, paper ballots. Their main gripe is that the eSlate machines tabulate votes electronically, out of the view of the public eye.

"They are not accurate because the count is done secretly inside of the machine, so there is no way to know if they are [fair]," Vote Rescue's Karen Renick told us last month.

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texas Politics
9:10 am
Thu October 28, 2010

Tea Party Caucus Coming to Austin

Tea Party lawmakers look to unite under the dome
Picture by

Some conservative Republican lawmakers are getting set to harness the force of the national Tea Party movement in the Texas Legislature.   State senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has announced the creation of the Tea Party caucus in the Texas Legislature.  Senator Patrick announced the creation in an Thursday morning e-mail, saying the group will support its members when they need help pushing legislation that reflects the Tea Party's core values...and, "challenge them when they stray."

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2010 midterm elections
12:03 pm
Thu October 21, 2010

HD 47 Candidate Workman Has Cancer

HD 47 Candidate Paul Workman (R)
KUT News

House District 47 candidates Paul Workman says he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  In an e-mail from his campaign the 58-year-old Republican said the cancer was discovered during a recent routine  physical, and that he's been given an optimistic prognosis because the cancer was detected early.  He also says he's not dropping out of his race against Democratic incumbent Valinda Bolton.

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